Yobbos Go 0-2 on Two Separate Pitch Invasions
When meeting a bloke of the English, Scottish, Welsh, or Ulsterish persuasion, it's customary to ask three questions:
- Where are you from?
- What's your local, ie- favorite pub?
- What's your team.
A couple of matches in Jolly Ol' coulda used a few of them this weekend.
- In the Birmingham derby, a City yob rushed the pitch in only the ninth minute and rabbit-punched Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, who responded by scoring the winning goal:
- At Emirates Stadium in North London, an Arsenal supporter shot from the crowd and shoved Manchester United's Chris Smalling while he was celebrating the Gunners' second goal in what became a crucial 2-0 victory.
In the past, incidents like those wind up in some sorta catch-&-release arrest, but as Lou Reed told us in Sweet Jane, these are different times.
- Both Dummköpfe were immediately jailed, with each local constabulary preparing to throw the book at them; and
- What the yobs will possibly consider worse, Birmingham City and Arsenal have announced each one will be banned from their grounds for life.
There's a reason this doesn't happen much in American football ...
But players being the first line of defense is not the answer.
Pitch invaders have been around as long as the game itself, sometimes in a drunken stupor and most times in search of some sorta warped high point in their lives.
Then, when they're next at their local, they'll likely be proud of their newfound notoriety, fine or no fine, ban or no ban.
It may be, but it's the reality.
The usual trope that gets trotted out by team officials about being cowardly and a disgrace are anti-establishment salutes. Everybody else already knows that. They don't need the obvious stated.
A better reaction would be to re-assign outta-shape ushers from pitch duty and bring in the bouncers from the English club scenes. Those dudes are in shape and skilled at what they do.
That's a reality most yobbos understand, and at matches, it's a deterrent that oughta keep their antics in check.
After all, isn't that why there are nuclear deterrents in the world? They've done the job so far.
Yes, the football teams will have to pony up for qualified crowd monitors, but they've got the dosh, and that response -- like the one they ordered that made stadiums all-seaters to eliminate overcrowded sections -- will be much more effective than rolling out the cowardlys and disgraces.
There should be. Nothing they've been trying over the decades has amounted to anything.
If enforced non-violence is what it takes to be the players' last line of defense -- after civility and monitor cameras -- then get it on.